Have you ever heard you can have it cheap and fast, but not good? Or maybe fast and good, but not cheap? So you settled for cheap and good but had to wait forever?
If so, you’ve experienced the project management triangle. Cost, time, quality; at least as historically drawn.
But… not so fast. This may apply if you’re building a house, but not when you’re preparing your corporate income tax returns.
Change the equation. Quality is mandatory; not optional. Scope is the variable.
The sides of the tax project management triangle are cost, time and scope. Consider the following alternatives:
- If your company is profitable and needs to make sure all your bases are completely covered, you likely will set your scope high. You’ll want R&D studies, state nexus studies, transfer pricing studies, etc. You might be able to get all this, but you’ll likely pay a lot or get all of this at the last moment.
- Alternatively, if you’re a loss company with no expectations for taxable income in the next year or two, you may set your scope lower. With the reduced scope, you’ll likely reduce the cost and speed up the delivery.
It’s true, you can’t have it all. You have to pick. But it’s not black versus white or good versus evil. It’s a management decision based on your company’s priorities.
If you need the proverbial belt and suspenders level of support and documentation and you need it now, get ready to pay up. But if you don’t have a limitless budget and you still need it yesterday, by adjusting your scope, you can do it.
Take charge. Knowledge is power. That power lets you draw your own triangle and make your own choices.
Stay tuned as we explore each side of the triangle in coming weeks as we challenge traditional thinking and planning for corporate taxes.
See all posts in the Project Management Triangle series.